Sawinder kaur, Chandigarh:

Keeping hawk’s eye on ensuring adequate supply and quality of medicines due to COVID-19 pandemic, the Commissionerate of Food & Drug Administration, Punjab conducted 3200 raids in the State on drug suppliers and distributors during Lockdown period. The Commissionerate also took 1200 samples and seized illegal medicines worth Rs. 25 lac., and licenses of 100 chemists were suspended for various violations of Drug and Cosmetic Act.

Divulging these details, State Food and Drug Administration Commissioner KS Pannu said that the Drug Administration wing of FDA, Punjab has been working overtime to ensure that the people of Punjab get quality medicines, consumables & cosmetics at reasonable rates. To achieve this objective, 59 Drug Control Officers have been deputed by the Government of Punjab, out of which 11 have been recruited recently with a view to step up the vigil on the supply of medicines in the State.

He further said that during the lockdown period since 23 March, 2020, this wing of Government worked hard to ensure that all the medical shops remain well stocked with required medicines. Furthermore, for the convenience of the public, the medicines are made available even by way of home delivery.

The Commissioner further said that about 2 lac liters of sanitizers were supplied free of cost to the Government health institutions, Government Departments and other public sector institutions through distilleries, which helped to boost the supplies & control the prices in the market. The prices of sanitizers were ensured to be within the norms fixed by Government of India.

He said that joint teams of Police, Food & Civil Supplies Department and Drug Administration were constituted which detected total 26 cases of overpricing/hoarding of Hand Sanitizers/ Hand Rubs/Hand Cleansers/ Disinfectants in the State of Punjab.

This strong action resulted in 11 FIRs being registered against the defaulters with fines being imposed in rest of the 15 cases. Similarly, total 10 cases of overpricing of Face Masks have been detected in the State of Punjab, out of which 02 FIRs have been registered against the defaulters and fines were imposed in rest of the 08 cases.

He further elaborated that Punjab has one of the best Drug Testing Laboratory set up with state of art infrastructure. The capacity of this drug lab was enhanced in the last three years by introducing latest equipment and machinery and by doubling the strength of analysts.